This time I was willing to go to America not only because I wanted to meet new people but also because of the opportunity to meet my old friends, or rather, the old friend. Rather, in a traditional way, I couldn’t call Father George exactly my friend. I say so because I feel some amazing connection between us, I feel my desire to communicate with this person.
20 years ago, Father George, a priest of the Church of St. Nicholas in Washington met us, helped to arrange a visit program, traveled with us to Chicago and Madison. Personally, I was lucky enough to spend the wonderful days and evenings with him. He is an amazing person who came to America from the Crimea where he managed to serve in the church. 20 years ago, Father George was actively involved not only in the life of the Church, but also in charitable programs, we then became a part of one of those. At that time, 20 years ago, 90 per cent of the information about America which I know was got in the evening conversations with my companion and mentor. We talked a lot about many things: from business to social life, culture, rules of behavior and life stories of our compatriots. And all this in an interesting manner, in details and with taste. A surprisingly secular and well-read priest. Then, in 1996, I remember his consulting his friends and partners on business and Internet connection simultaneously. At that same time, I suppose, I took over from Father George a habit to add: “Good!” slowly and steadily.
At the same time, 20 years ago in Madison a surgeon – ophthalmologist told me that I could do nothing more with my former eyes. He said it simply and directly and then sent to the doctor for rehabilitation. When I appeared before the rehabilitation doctor I began in panic to convince him that I would wait for eye transplantation. Dr. Marshall, I well remember his name, simply and kindly explained that he had been working in that place for 20 years. He had heard and read much about the transplants but had never seen live examples. He wished me very gently not to beat about the bush for time and start rehabilitation. I started to do it but later, after having played for time.
Interestingly, science and eye surgery have greatly advanced during this period. But, actually being in the stream, I cannot boast knowing a case where the sight would be miraculously restored and a person would start studying or working. In the meanwhile there were only examples of, to put it mildly, a sort of an “electronic retina.” But it’s more like self-indulgence.
All this hope for the wonders of technology and civilization! Of course, there is a breakthrough with talking phones and computers, but, however sadly it would sound, in most cases these devices and technologies assist us very poorly, they are more like toys. With one of these toys I came from America 20 years ago. We bought then, for the fabulous amount of $ 1,000, ultrasound spectacles which I eventually used about five times, not more. This money would have made it possible to start a couple of new lives at the time.
It was delivery of goods at home that surprised me then. George had ordered glasses on the internet and on the third day they were lying on the threshold of the house we were staying in. Then these were real wonders that made my dream in that house fabulous every night.